With modern families becoming more dispersed and leading a much more hectic lifestyle, it can sometimes feel that grandparents are missing out on developing relationships with their grandchildren.
A grandparent is the ideal role model, teacher and influencer, they can provide cultural heritage and family history and often make the best listener. Keeping up to date with grandchildren can reap real benefits such as helping older people stay more active and engaged and encouraging them to learn new skills. Here are some top tips on how to stay connected, no matter where you are:
- Get online – nowadays it seems children spend almost all their life online. As a result this has shaped the way they communicate. Get familiar with tools such as Skype or FaceTime or set up an email account, if you haven’t already. Ask your grandchildren to help you with this.
- Know when to give them space – social media (Facebook Instagram Whatsapp etc.) offers a great insight into what makes people tick but don’t be offended if your grandchildren don’t want to share this aspect of their online lives with you.
- Learn how to chat – studies reveal that young people prefer to communicate via text message or instant messaging. This is great for continual communication and there’s less pressure to stay on the phone or call at a certain time.
- Connect with their interests – it’s important to understand your grandchildren’s interests as it’s a great way to connect with them. Think about encouraging them to share interesting articles they find and you try doing the same.
- Make them laugh – share funny things that you find with them from YouTube videos to funny articles or pictures. Not only will this help to brighten up their day but it’s something to share in together.
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